Frequently Asked Questions

You Asked, We Answered!

How is Berkeley Humane funded?

Berkeley Humane is supported through the generosity of our community. We are an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit located on the same street corner in West Berkeley since 1933. We are not affiliated with, nor do we receive regular funding from, any national animal welfare organization or any federal, state, or local government agencies. 

How do I donate?

We're so glad you asked! Thank you for considering a donation to support the life-saving efforts at Berkeley Humane! You can make an online donation to support a program that best fits your area of interest. Or, you can make a payment over the phone at (510) 845-7735 x233. You can find more information about in-kind donations and other creative ways to support us in the "Donate" section of our website.

What is Berkeley Humane's privacy policy?

Privacy Policy:

Berkeley Humane respects the privacy of all of our donors. We believe in safeguarding personal information and ensuring that your privacy is protected. Your name, address and any other personal data you provide will be used by only Berkeley Humane to keep you informed of our activities including our classes, programs, special events, and funding needs. If at any time you choose not to receive these communications, you may contact us and we will gladly remove your name from our mailing list.

Mailing Lists:

Berkeley Humane does not rent, sell, give away, or trade its donor lists or any information contained on those lists. Donor information is used by our organization for charitable purposes only as described above and will not be used by any entity outside of the organization unless we are legally required to disclose information to comply with applicable legal requirements and standards.

Tax Deduction: 

The Berkeley East-Bay Humane Society is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Financial contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. 

How is Berkeley Humane different from the city animal shelter?

As a private, nonprofit organization, Berkeley Humane works cooperatively with publicly funded municipal shelters throughout the region and other local groups to save all healthy and treatable animals throughout the Bay Area. In Berkeley, our closest partner and friend is Berkeley Animal Care Services (BACS). BACS provides animal control field services, enforcement of city ordinances related to animals, impoundment of stray pets, and investigation of animal-related neglect, cruelty, nuisance, and bite cases.


The majority of Berkeley Humane’s animals come to us from municipal shelters that are often overcrowded and under-resourced. We primarily focus on supporting the challenging to place, older, and medically needy animals in municipal shelters in order to allow them to make space for incoming animals and help to lower their euthanasia rates. Berkeley Humane features an Adoption Center, operates a shelter-only veterinary hospital; Spay the Bay (spay/neuter clinic) vaccination, micropchipping, and deworming clinics; a dog training program; and several other community programs that support pets and their families.


We also often a lifetime guarantee to take back any animal adopted from our program and we accept owner surrenders of puppy and kitten litters of two or more. More information here:

How are you affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States?

We are not affiliated with and receive no ongoing funding from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Amercan Humane Association (AHA), Berkeley Animal Care Services (BACS, Berkeley's public shelter), or any other local, state, or national organization. Donations made to national groups are not dispersed to local shelters, including Berkeley Humane.

How are you affiliated with animal rights organizations?

We are not affiliated with any animal rights organizations. Although we greatly value our community members committed to ending animal suffering, Berkeley Humane's mission is to first and foremost rescue and rehabilitate homeless dogs and cats in the East Bay, and place them into loving homes. We pull companion animals from under-resourced shelters, provide necessary medical and behavioral care, and connect them with people who will love and care for them. 

This important work is accomplished through thoughtful, sustained efforts to connect with our community through a range of efforts designed to be inclusive and welcoming to the widest population possible. Our organization believes that every individual can contribute to building a more humane world. We know that in order to accomplish our mission, individuals and organizations must respect one another and partner together. We hope that our collective efforts will contribute to a more compassionate world for people and animals alike.

Do you insist on a meatless menu for people?

Berkeley Humane strives to be sensitive to myriad beliefs and concerns that surround the field of animal welfare. However, it is impossible to espouse the spectrum of opinions that are held by the many members of the animal welfare community, particularly concerning controversial matters. While the personal beliefs of our volunteers, donors, and employees are often extremely passionate on a variety of topics, it is our position to remain neutral on most issues, outside of companion animal welfare, especially if assuming an official position could hinder our ability to meet the needs of our rescued animals, fulfill the goals of our mission, or meet the fundraising needs of our organization.

While we encourage people to reduce their consumption of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy or other animal products—and when they do consume those foods, to support local farms that use humane and sustainable practices—we are not a vegan organization. Berkeley Humane will strive to ensure that vegetarian and vegan options are available at all sponsored public and private events and that meat, poultry, and fish options are available upon request or when we feel they are appropriate for certain types of events. 

What types of animals do you have?

Berkeley Humane is an Adoption Center for cats, kittens, dogs and puppies only. We do not accept small pets, wildlife or farm animals. While Berkeley Humane does not accept the surrender of stray pets, we will accept owner surrenders of puppy and kitten litters of two or more. More information here:

Where do your animals come from?

Because Berkeley Humane is strongly committed to relieving animal overpopulation in our community, the animals in our shelter are transfers from our local municipal animal shelter partners in an effort to open up space for their incoming animals and reduce euthanasia. While Berkeley Humane does not accept the surrender of stray pets, we will accept owner surrenders of puppy and kitten litters of two or more. More information here:

Are you a "no-kill" shelter?

Because of the collaborative spirit and mutual respect that exists between the shelters in our community, Berkeley Humane does not use the term "no-kill" to separate ourselves from our open-door shelter partners who are under the pressure of space and/or time constraints. We are committed to ending the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in the East Bay, and we know that the pet homelessness problem extends beyond any one shelter to the way animals are valued and cared for in our community. Please spay and neuter your pet(s) and practice responsible pet ownership to ensure that you do not contribute to pet homelessness. Berkeley Humane is committed to offering low cost spay/neuter options as well as connecting individuals with other non-profit clinics in the area. Please visit for more information.

How long do pets stay in your care before they are euthanized?

Berkeley Humane does not use length of stay as a criterion for euthanasia. We care deeply about the quality of life of the animals in our charge; and not only are they guaranteed a space in our program until they are adopted, we are also committed to providing the highest quality of care during their stay. Animals in our care are euthanized only for behavior issues that cannot be managed safely or medical conditions that are untreatable. 

What pets do you have available for adoption?

Please consult our website for up-to-date animal listings, mobile adoption events and/or special adoption events. Pets available for adoption can be viewed Friday through Sunday from 11 AM until 5 PM at our facility at 2700 Ninth Street in Berkeley. We are closed on all major holidays.

Most of our available animals are housed in foster care on non-adoption days.

Are all of your animals spayed or neutered before adoption?

Yes. According to California law, all animals must be spayed or neutered before they can be adopted. At Berkeley Humane, all animals are spayed or neutered before they are made available for adoption.

All of our animals also receive veterinary and behavioral evaluations, vaccinations, microchip, heartworm testing (dogs over 6 months), FeLV/FIV testing (cats), heartworm preventative, flea and tick preventative and de-worming.

Our adoption package includes adoption counseling and follow-up calls, a take-home adoption packet, temporary collar and ID tag, temporary leash or carrier, a certificate for a free examination at a local veterinary hospital, and (for dogs) half off your first training class with us.

How do I adopt an animal?

Thank you for considering adoption! If you see an animal on our website you are interested in adopting, come visit him/her during adoption hours. If you don't have a particular pet in mind, we would be happy to answer your questions during our adoption hours or via phone or email. Our staff is especially skilled at matching your needs and expectations with the needs of our animals. You can reach an adoption staff member by emailing, or by calling (510) 845-3633. Read more about our adoption process here.

What is included in your adoption fees?

Every animal adopted from Berkeley Humane has received a thorough medical examination, preventive care, and treatment for any medical conditions that are discovered. In our care, the animals also receive good nutrition, enrichment, exercise, training and socialization. As you can imagine, it can be quite costly to provide all of this for an animal, and they don't arrive with wallets! The money collected from adoption fees offsets only a small percentage of the actual costs we incur to care for animals. Many adopters make a donation on top of their adoption fee to help cover these costs. Even small donations make a big difference in helping us save lives.

All of our animals receive veterinary and behavioral evaluations, spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchip, heartworm testing (dogs over 6 months), FeLV/FIV testing (cats), heartworm preventative, flea and tick preventative and de-worming. Our adoption package includes adoption counseling and follow-up calls, a take-home adoption packet, temporary collar and ID tag, temporary leash or carrier, a certificate for a free examination at a local veterinary hospital, and (for dogs) half off your first training class with us.

How do I become a volunteer?

Berkeley Humane is thrilled to have the support of our wonderful volunteer force. We have a variety of volunteer opportunities, ranging from working with the shelter animals, to providing foster care, to assisting with special events and administrative needs. To discover all the wonderful ways to get involved at Berkeley Humane, please visit the Volunteer section of our website. 

All potential volunteers attend an orientation before getting started. It's easy to view our schedule and register for one of our Volunteer Orientations on our website.

Do you provide veterinary services?

Berkeley Humane provides public spay/neuter services by appointment only. Please visit for more information. Medical care for our shelter animals is provided through private donations made to the Hope Medical Fund

How do I sign up for dog training classes?

Please visit the dog training website, Train the Bay, to learn more about our class offerings, schedule, trainers, or to register for a class online. You may also call (510) 845-7735, x215.

I need help/advice caring for/keeping my pet. Can you help?

Berkeley Humane knows adoption services are necessary, but believes strongly in the human-animal bond and that people and their pets should remain together whenever possible. We offer several programs that are designed to help you keep your pet in your home.

If your pet has a behavior issue that you are having trouble managing, our Behavior Advice Line is a free service that allows you to call and speak one-on-one with a Behavior & Training staff member. Many times, we'll recommend private consultations and classes for dog owners to help them address behavior and training issues.

We also operate a monthly Pet Food Pantry to provide pet food for qualifying participants. 

I would like to receive information and updates from Berkeley Humane. How do I do this?

You can sign up to receive regular updates and newsletters from Berkeley Humane at the top of this website. If you would like to receive an issue of our newsletter in the mail, please contact

Where can I find statistical information for your organization?

Statistical data for Berkeley Humane is available on this page.